Wis. Meat Co. Recalls Ground BeefSep 27, 2002 | AP
A Wisconsin meat packing company said Friday that it is recalling about 400,000 pounds of ground beef that may be connected to an E. coli outbreak that sickened 40 people in three states.
Health investigators also are probing another E. coli outbreak that sickened 19 people in Wisconsin. It is not known if the outbreaks are related, though officials believe all the people got sick after eating ground beef.
The most recent case was reported in mid-September.
Officials learned of the first outbreak last month after 19 people who went on a rafting trip in northern Wisconsin fell ill.
While investigating the first outbreak, officials found another of a different strain. That outbreak hit 40 people in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota.
The meat company said its recall was a precaution.
"The evidence linking this to this product is what you would call circumstantial," said Justin Segel, president of Emmpak Foods. "We are in the interest of public safety, consumer safety, recalling five days of production."
Last May, the company recalled 471,000 pounds of ground beef because it may have been contaminated with E. coli.
Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea and stomach cramps. The bacteria can be lethal in some cases.